Day 2, January 9

Caesarea, Mount Carmel, Megiddo, Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes ~  After our first Israeli buffet breakfast of cheeses, yogurts, fish, eggs, raw vegetables, fresh fruit, cereals, wonderful breads & unique Israeli dishes, we headed north from Tel Aviv along the coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea to Caesarea Maritima where Cornelius, the centurion, was baptized as the first Gentile convert (Acts 10).  It is also where Paul was imprisoned before traveling to Rome to appear before Caesar (Acts 23-26.) Jeff taught in the theatre built by Herod the Great in between the raindrops. We made a quick stop to see Megiddo, the ancient chariot city of King Solomon that overlooks the valley of Armageddon. Then we stopped at a Druze restaurant for lunch before going to Mount Carmel, also known as Muhraka (in Arabic- "place of burning") to a Carmelite monastery built on the traditional site where the prophet Elijah slew the false prophets of Ba’al (1 Kings 18.) We saw a rainbow over the Jezreel Valley. Next we traveled on to the region of the Galilee, descending below sea level to the Sea of Galilee. Above the northern edge of the lake is the beautiful Mount of the Beatitudes church where we had mass in the area where Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:1-12.) After a ride to our kibbutz along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, we settled in to our housing for the next three nights.